So yeah. That was interesting. Many are saying this was one of the saddest years for Super Bowl commercials, with #DownerBowl trending on twitter.


So much good discussion during our 4th annual Super Bowl commercial chat. Budweiser taught us that the puppies + horses combo will always win, even if you use it every. single. year. Toyota, Nissan and Dove believe that dads are cool, but Nationwide and T-Mobile aren’t big fans of boys. Always (the company) is campaigning for girls. Have no fear though, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s love everyone equally.

If that’s not enough Super Bowl commercial analysis, here’s our recap of last night’s big ads.


The New Budweiser Advertising Dynasty?

Budweiser’s Super Bowl looked to its champion puppy/horse combo and won the highest rated commercial again. A new advertising dynasty?

Last year on The Morning Blend, I wasn’t a big fan of the repeated use of puppies year after year (watch that commentary here) and I still wasn’t this year. Seems cheap and easy. Nevertheless, the footage, music, and emotional story were very effective. Reminds me of how Vince Lombardi used to run the same play over and over again until someone stopped it.

Please, someone stop it.


Nationwide Misses With Dead Boy

One of the biggest fails last night was the Nationwide commercial featuring a boy telling the world that he’ll never learn to ride a bike or fly, travel the world with his best friend, or get married. Why? Because he’s dead.


Yep, you heard that right. Somehow Nationwide, an insurance company, is claiming to help keep kids from dying. This felt cheap, even cheaper than the puppy/horse combo. Consequently, it has 300% more thumbs down ratings, than thumbs up.

People weren’t buying it.


Dads, Dads & More Dads

Lots of dad commercials last night, all ranked in the top 13. Toyota had a good dad dropping his daughter off on for military duty in a new Camry. Nissan featured an absentee race car driving dad picking up his son in a Nissan. Dove tried to convince us that caring dads use their shampoo. Seemed emotional and authentic until the end.

All around, very emotional content.


Like a Girl

My personal favorite from last night was #LikeAGirl, the new ad from Always (the company, not the adverb). This was basically a short documentary showing how girls think of their gender as they grow older.

It was a great reminder how important it is to teach young people how they are special, not inferior. This could be applied to race, nationality, language, religion and just about every other demographic we are born into. A special ad for sure, positioning their brand as an active participant in the lives of young women, their target market.


Big Brands, Few Products

Is your product recognized as being unhealthy? Are sales slumping? Is your company rich? Then buy a Super Bowl ad (or two) and and run interference without showing your product. Just get people emotional, show love, and hope people will like you more.

This is pretty much the model McDonald’s, Coke, and Budweiser have followed for the past couple years. This year wasn’t much different, except that Budweiser did call out it’s haters in one ad. Is it working? No. Sales are still slumping and people are making fun of them for it.



In some cases, the public enjoyed many of the ads we’re discussing above. In others, the disdain was universal. Click here to see the entire rankings and let us know what you think.

As always, thanks for your attention.

– Aaron @Biebert & the Attention Era Media crew

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